cat-computer How to write a great article

Use this guide to write your first article for Technically We Write.

Technically We Write is a home for professional and technical writing. We want to hear from you about your tips, advice, best practices, favorite tools, favorite fonts, … and everything else about how you practice the art of writing.

But if you haven’t written an article before, you might be unsure how to start. You aren’t alone. Even technical writers who work professionally to write content sometimes email us to ask “How do I write an article about what I do?” We wanted to share a few ways you might write your first article:

1. Share your experience

The best articles come from experience. Did you learn a new tool? Write an article about what you learned to do with the new tool. Or, did you learn a new writing technology, like how to write in HTML or Docbook or Markdown? Share an article about a few things you learned how to do. Writing from your experience and describing what you learned is interesting to our readers.

Tell your story about something you learned. Because if it was new to you, it will also be new to someone else. And sometimes, reading about someone else learning how to do something is exactly what the other person needs to learn to do it themselves.

2. Share a best practice

Another way to write a great article is to share a best practice that you like to follow. For example, many people use a desktop word processor like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice Writer as their “daily driver” to create content. If that’s you, you could write about what best practices you follow when using a word processor.

Do you find it’s easier to create a template, and use that to create new documents? You might write an article about how you created the template, or how others might create their own template. Or, do you leverage the Styles feature of your favorite word processor, to keep everything looking consistent throughout your document? You could write about how you create a new style or how you modify an existing style in your favorite word processor.

3. Write a list

One popular article style is called a “listicle.” This is an article that lists several options or categories to answer a question or theme to the article. A common way to write a listicle is to write two or three short paragraphs to “set the stage” for the article, then expand on that theme or topic by breaking out the article into numbered sections, plus another one or two short paragraphs at the end to wrap it up.

For example, let’s say you downloaded LibreOffice so you could try it out. You might write an article about “4 things I learned how to do in LibreOffice Writer over a weekend.” The opening two paragraphs might describe how you wanted to learn LibreOffice, but you finally decided to dive into it when you found a personal project to work on. And over a weekend, you used LibreOfficer Writer to tackle the project - and you learned a few new tricks along the way.

For the rest of the article, identify one thing you learned as a numbered section heading, like “1. LibreOffice Writer can import my old files.” Then write two or three paragraphs that explain it or demonstrate it, perhaps with a screenshot to show it in action. Repeat for the other features you learned how to do.

Don’t just end the article; write a brief conclusion to wrap up the article. This doesn’t need to be very long, a short paragraph could be enough. For example, you might write something like “It was hard at first, but I learned a lot as I tried to do more. And by the end of the weekend, I finally felt proficient in using LibreOffice Writer for my technical writing project.” Basically, put a human touch on the end of your article.

Share the knowledge

How you write your first article is up to you. There are many ways to write an article, we’ve only shared three popular ways to create your first article. The key is to share the knowledge and write about something you know or something you’ve learned.

We have a wide audience at Technically We Write, from seasoned technical writers, non-writers who want to get better at professional writing, and undergraduate students who are still learning the craft and want to know more. There’s an audience for every article about technical and professional writing in all its forms.